After a lengthy break that left fans thirsty for new music, Foals are back to rescue rock with Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 1. The record sees the band swap gritty guitars for suave synths.
Part 1 kicks off with mysterious choral sounds in Moonlight. It’s instantly clear that the band are taking their sound in a different direction, however tracks such as Exits still follow Foals’ classic song formula of a ‘chant-able’ chorus and infectious riffs. The interestingly named White Onions is erratically brilliant and drummer Jack Bevan shines through with brash and ferocious beats.
It’s hard for a band to retain their style whilst staying relevant and exciting, especially after releasing four albums, but Foals don’t appear to be struggling with this at all. This is particularly noticeable in In Degrees, where the band explore a groovy, 80s-style electronic sound and marry it with their fast, plucky guitar work. Lead singer Yannis Philippakis also gives a quick shout-out to their hometown in Syrups – “So let’s get down on Oxfordshire” – before the funky bassline erupts into upbeat chaos towards the end of the track.
It’s fair to say that Part 1’s tracks all hold similar elements of Foals’ previous music, however it appears that they’ve amped everything up 10 times to create an even more colossal sound. You could place On the Lunar straight onto 2013’s Holy Fire due to its club-friendly guitar riffs…but it would still hold its own, being a more souped-up and synth-heavy anthem.
Café D’Athens and Surf, Pt. 1 are the creepy, cinematic tunes that transition the beautiful bedlam at the beginning of the album into a slower-paced, reflective temperament. The anthemic Sunday wholeheartedly stands out as the ‘sleeper’ hit of Part 1, and acts as a breath of fresh air with its sleepy melody. The more melancholy I’m Done With the World (& It’s Done With Me) is a direct display of how well Foals can chop and change the mood to their music and produce a plethora of outstanding tracks, all with different sounds.
Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 1 firmly stands as the reason why Foals are pretty much the last remaining indie rock band of their era. With not one skippable track and a constant change of tempo, this album becomes irresistibly compelling and moreish. These songs will be a huge asset to the band’s live shows and will hopefully result in an even more raucous atmosphere. It’s challenging to be the flag-bearer of indie rock in a world that appears to be obsessed with mumble rap and Drake, but Foals definitely don’t want to give up the fight to bring decent indie rock back into the spotlight.